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DS Audio Tantra 2

Multi-effects Plug-in By John Walden
Published August 2022

DS Audio Tantra 2

Can Tantra 2 help you breathe new life into your sounds?

The word Tantra refers to a combination of philosophical and spiritual practices originating in India around the 6th Century, and its verbal root ‘tan’ comes from the Sanskrit word meaning to weave or compose. So it’s an apt name for this DS Audio plug‑in, which is intended for those who are looking to weave some interesting sonic textures into their productions, and sits in a similar ‘creative multi‑effects’ category as Output’s Movement, Sugar Bytes’ Turnado and Lunatic Audio’s Narcotic. The original version was released back in 2015, but the new v2 delivers several new features alongside a substantial UI redesign.

Chain Gang

Each of a pair of signal chains (A and B) has six effects modules (Filter, Distortion, Delay, LoFi, Flanger and Glitch), global reverb and EQ effects are found in the upper half of the UI, and there’s a set of eight curve or step‑based (up to 32 steps) modulation sources with tempo‑sync control, which can be applied to the effects module parameters and to both volume (Tremolo) and pan (Pan Flip). Bottom‑right of the UI, you can toggle on/off the A or B signal chains, adjust their volumes and panning, and switch them between parallel or serial signal flow. That last option opens up all sorts of possibilities, including the ability to apply different processes to the left/right sides of a stereo source signal. There’s also a global Mix control, should you want to adjust the blend of your processed and unprocessed sounds, and it’s worth noting that each module includes its own individual Mix control too.

Modulation assignments can be made very easily within the main display.Modulation assignments can be made very easily within the main display.

The topmost strip provides access to the preset system (Tantra 2 is well‑stocked in this regard), a macro playback speed adjustment setting, display toggle switches between the two effects chains and a Routing panel to change the effects module order for the currently selected layer. The lowest portion of the display can be toggled between the default reverb/EQ/master section and the modulation matrix although, as described below, you can also link modulation targets to one of the eight modulation sources with a little click‑dragging.

Amongst other features, there are presets for the modulation patterns/curves and a number of dice icons that provide randomisation options globally, for individual effects modules and for individual modulation sources. The UI can be resized, although for my Cubase review system at least this had to be done via the main menu...

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